I’m dreading my next haircut.

jimshair02.jpgAnd no, that doesn’t mean I’m growing dreads. It just means finding a good barber is hard for a fulltimer.

Ever since Rhodester wrote about his salon experience, I’ve been meaning to write about getting a haircut while on the road.

Then René wrote about how one fulltime RVer colors her hair. But yesterday, Valerie asked who cuts my hair while traveling. And Brian mentioned an old song about going home to get your hair cut.

“When you get a haircut, be sure to go back home
When you get a haircut, get a barber you have known
Since you were a little bitty boy sittin’ in a booster chair
Or you might look like Larry, Moe or Curly if a stranger cuts your hair”

The Haircut Song by Ray Stevens
From his classic comedy album “I Have Returned

padvisory.jpgI’ve been putting this off while thinking of how to write it without expletives, but the time has come.

So I just gotta say it. I need a fucking haircut.

My last haircut was probably the best I have ever had. Certainly the best since we hit the road. Back in Wisconsin, a lady hacked me up with clippers so dull I told her to stop using them before she was done.

But when we got to my sister’s place in New York, I was due again. And my brother in law told me I had to go see Fuckin’ Lou. “Fuckin’ Lou?” I Laughed. “Yeah,” he smirked, “Fuckin’ Lou.” So I went to see Fuckin’ Lou.

Lou’s Cut and Style is right across the street from the Rennselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. But don’t even try parking in front unless you’re there to get a haircut. Lou owns those parking spaces, and he’ll fucking let you know it.

I walked in to hear the older barber cussing up a storm with a customer in the chair. I smiled and said, “You must be Fuckin’ Lou.”

“Damn right, I’m Fuckin’ Lou,” he snapped back. After asking me who the fuck I was, He offered me some fucking coffee, clarifying that I was in luck because he just fucking made it. And if i wanted any fucking milk or sugar, he had that too. He didn’t have any cream, so if I wanted any of that, “I was fuckin’ outta luck.”

By this time, I was already having a blast and didn’t even care if i was gonna get a good haircut here. But I knew I would. Lou runs the kinda barber shop I’m always on the lookout for when in need of a trim. Aside from the requisite striped barber pole, it was old and smelled of well groomed old men. The walls were lined with sports memorabilia, and there was plenty of fine reading material.

I learned long ago that the more nudie magazines a barber shop has, the better haircut you’re gonna get. And it has been a long time since I read up on the latest Playboy news while waiting my turn. Forget that Maxim shit. When Lou was ready for me, he asked “You fuckin’ ready?” Damn right I was ready.

When I told Lou Tim had referred me, he lightened up a bit, and started swearing even more. “Oh yeah, that fuckin’ Tim,” he said. Lou proceeded to give me the best haircut, while providing ample entertainment. We talked about owning your own business and Lou explained how he loves all the ball bustin’ he enjoys with his customers.

Wondering if he would think I was fuckin’ crazy for selling my home and business and hitting the road in a trailer, I asked Lou what he thought. “That’s fuckin’ great,” he said. Turns out Lou himself has plans to sell out someday and do the same thing. Well, and go at least as far as fuckin’ Florida, where he plans to do whatever the fuck he wants.

When I told Lou I was from Humboldt County, he smiled and asked about the great fuckin’ herb out there. He mentioned how he liked Oregon because you could grow whatever the fuck you want an no one would fuckin’ bother you.” I wouldn’t fucking know…

The fun really began when someone attempted to park in front of Lou’s. Telling me to hold tight, he walked to the window and shouted, “You fuckin’ parkin’ there?” The guy walking toward a café down the street was stunned and quickly stopped. “You wanna pay a hundred bones for your cup o’ coffee you go right ahead and park there. The tow truck will fuckin’ be here before you get back. Can’t you read the fuckin’ sign?” Lou feels he has done people a great favor by placing the Lou’s Customer Parking signs clearly stating that any others will be towed. I guess the city wouldn’t let him get away with, “No Fuckin’ Parking” signs.

The next person that parked there was a shaggy haired kid, to whom Lou shouted, “You fuckin’ comin’ in here?” He was. “Good boy,” Lou said. When the RPI student walked in, Lou asked if he had “cut that fuckin’ mop” before. No, it was the guy’s first time to see Lou. Obviously.

Aside from skin mags, my primary gauge of a good barber is if he uses a straight razor. And Lou does. I even got the hot shaving cream treatment for some manscaping of the neck.

My last haircut was quick, cheap, entertaining, and too long ago. I just hope I can find another Fuckin’ Lou, sometime fuckin’ soon.

8 Responses to “I’m dreading my next haircut.”

  1. “the big nasty peanut type filled with sticks and small animals”

    Yeah. I’m not too crazy about those, either. Thanks for the laugh. Again.

  2. I also neglected to mention that René has been talking about growing dreads already for a couple months now! And for the record, I’ve got nothing against dreads when grown in moderation. It’s just the big nasty peanut type filled with sticks and small animals that I don’t care for.

  3. Jim,

    I just had to take a moment and tell you how much I enjoyed this post. How much? So much so that I immediately sent it to my Jim (the Hubby) to read because I knew he would appreciate it. I was right. He read it, laughed, and proceeded to share some of his own barber shop stories from years past with me. He thinks he would really love to get a cut at this place.

    And for the record, there is nothing wrong with dreads. Right? In fact, I’m already planning my entry about how having dreads will be beneficial (for me) when we start traveling. Look for it. With pictures and everything. Who knows? Maybe you’ll change your mind and you and Rene both will dread, after all. 🙂

  4. Elaine Ludwin January 2, 2008 at 4:29 pm Reply

    Jim,

    Humm…. I think you might wanna go for the dreads… just think of the savings!!! Then maybe when you guys are back around in So.Ca. Jen could cut em off! (And btw, She loves using a straight razor!!!) Take care & as always safe happy travels

    Xoxo
    Elaine

  5. Thanks for the reminder. I neglected to mention my cheap cuts by the smokin’ lady, Fred and Chuck’s Beauty College next door, Rocky’s classic barber shop, or how I finally found The Den just a couple months before we hit the road. Virgil has been giving good cuts at a great price there next to Partrick’s since 1968. He’s got a TV so you can watch Cops while you get a haircut, but his reading material of choice is Guns and Ammo magazine.

  6. Aaahhhh … a **guy** haircut. You captured it perfectly, Jim.

    Remember my blog posting about City Barbershop (http://www.citybarber.com) in Eureka? When you can get a cigar, a drink, hot foam shave and girlie magazines, combined with a webcam and free WiFi, brother, you’ve arrived. The only thing missing was the cursing. That would have been like a cherry on the top of a sundae.

  7. there are advantages for “pelones”!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Bluez Moon, the prequel » Blog Archive » How a hairstyle can save you money while traveling full time - January 5, 2008

    […] of live.work.dream., wrote a great story about what it’s like to find a good place to get a haircut while traveling full time. [Note of warning: If the word “fuck” offends you, maybe you should skip it (and seek […]

Leave a Reply